Give thanks in all circumstances

The cultural world we inhabit through advertising and news tends to focus on what we lack or things
that are mad, bad and sad. It is therefore easy to be sucked into a spiral of negativity through media. We are also wired to focus more on threats to our safety.

Thanksgiving is a choice and a way of life and is encouraged throughout the scriptures. We can choose to be thankful people. It is not dependent on our circumstances. There is also plenty of evidence from secular psychologists that an attitude of gratitude is good for us – mentally, psychologically and physically.

There are many examples in the Old Testament e.g. King David, Daniel, Habakkuk ( 3:17-19) all have remarkable prayers of thanks in a wider variety of trying circumstances. The witness of these people and Jesus and Paul is that we can find a reason to give thanks in all circumstances. Often this seems to open doors in our responses and in the circumstances that follow. It’s impossible neurologically to express thanks and worry simultaneously as different parts of our brains are involved. Often you will find your emotions uplift as you develop a thankful heart.

One easy way to grow in thankfulness is by linking it to regular moments throughout the day( habit stacking) where we can simply pause, reflect and give thanks e.g. as we wait for the kettle to boil, as we complete a car journey, as we wash our hands or brush our teeth. Practise it and see how you go.

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